23 April 2012

Not sunny

I've been meaning to write for days and days. I don't know why I put it off. Or why I feel obligated to write.

We've had some nasty weather. Boo hiss. Cold (in the 40's) and damp and rainy. Gray skies. Windy! I don't like it one bit. The rain I welcome, though of course I wish it came on workdays. The combination is just mean. On the bright side, Rob and I worked in my garden last week and he put down all the mulch. It looks just great, if I do say so myself. I planted my first rose, a double-red Knock Out. I'm excited. I'm glad I didn't put anything else in the ground with the weather we're having. I'm babying-along my hundreds of zinnia seedlings in my garage.

I went to a new dentist for the first time in probably 10 years. My old dentist walked away from his practice over a year ago. He was my cousin's husband, and very good. I finally got dental insurance and went to my daughter's dentist. It was a 10 minute drive as opposed to the hour I had been driving. The cleaning was the best I've ever gotten. I liked the new dentist very much. I have an appointment to go back in 3 weeks to have a cavity filled. He suggested I could use 2 crowns. I asked him if it was because the fillings in the teeth were old, or because they were bad. They were old. My former dentist left his practice because he wasn't a money-maker.

Emily gave me a gift certificate for a full-body massage for Christmas and I finally used it today. It was wonderful. Decadent. What a pleasurable experience. I bought gift certificates for Rob and Emily and myself for Christmas too. We all need to use them.

Rob and I went to the dermatologist on Thursday for body checks. I go once a year. The doctor took a small dark flat mole off my backside, and included plenty of surrounding flesh just in case, so there would be good margins. Yuck. The scab is about the size of a pencil eraser. Rob's was bigger and on the back of his shoulder. He got a call today that there were cancerous cells, but all clear margins. I didn't get a call. My labs were sent to a different facility, but I'm not expecting a call. Do you see a dermatologist? We all should.

I'm snuggled up on my couch with a blanket. Mango is on my shoulder. I wish I had pie. I can't wait for Spring to come back.

16 April 2012

Big dog, little bird

The time I've been waiting months and months and months for has arrived. Porch time. I'm really in my glory (is that phrase even used anymore?). The weather in the shade has been delightful. Not just nice, but perfect. Warm and breezy with no humidity. Blue sky. I wish every day could be like this. I'm sitting on my porch with my Big Dog dress on. (Check out the link for some history.) Mango has been hanging out with me in his cage, on the walkway. He seems to like it like it too...lots of birds singing. Here's one of my views right now:

I've loved having my mom's birdbath. The birds don't seem to notice me, and I get a front row view of their activities. The songbirds come alone. The robins are vigorous in their bathing. The starlings and other black birds come in groups and party. I feel like a voyeur!

I always say I 'get off on the little things.' It really is the the simple pleasures that give me joy. As I sat down to start writing, a hummingbird came to one of my feeders. If you know me, you know that made my day. And you know what? I knew it would happen today.

I put down 3 bags of mulch this morning, through the interior of my garden, around newly emerged perennials. What I found is that my knees aren't what they used to be. It was very hard to squat! I was probably sore from yesterday's task of digging up 60 tulip bulbs and transplanting them in my backyard. Rob loves to landscape so I'm saving the rest of the work for when he's here this week. He's glad I didn't do it without him. I brought my zinnia seedlings outside for the first time. I only have a couple of hundred of them!

I picked up my mom yesterday and met my sister Lisa and friend Kit at the restaurant my daughter works at. Brio. We sat outside in the shade and had a wonderful meal.

There's about a half hour of daylight left. I think I'll take a walk around the block to finish up this gift of a day. Happy me.

09 April 2012

The perfect job for me

My friend Josie hosts One Question Wednesday every week, and she answered my question (a few weeks ago) with one of her own. I'm posting my answer here. I don't actually remember her exact question, but it was something like this:

How did I decide to become a hairstylist?

I grew up hating my curly hair. I used to think to myself, What did I do to deserve naturally curly hair? From a very young age, I sat on the bathroom counter in front of the mirror and set my hair. I taped my bangs flat to my forehead with pink hair tape. I sat under a bonnet-style dryer till my hair was dry. After all that, I'd still have to sleep with the rollers in. I did this for years and years and years. Summertime was especially hard. I'd pull my hair into a rubber band to give it what I thought was a straight look. I'd set the ponytail with curlers. What I got was a front with deep waves and a sausage-roll back. Not a great look. Sometimes I'd even put the kind of mesh bag that held grapes (back when) over my head and sit under the dryer to try to dry it straight. Did I say I hated my hair? I was a slave to it.

Set hair

Sometime during my senior year of high school I let my hair dry curly for the first time. I can't believe I waited that long. I started wearing my hair curly occasionally, but only with the front held back and the rest flowing down. Because it had no layers, it was just very wavy and big. I continued my hair-setting ways into college. My roommate, Stella, was a fellow curly girl in denial. Hair nights found us isolated and off-limits in our dorm room. Here was our routine: set our hair and put the bonnet of the dryer on. Polish our nails. Go to sleep with the dryer on. At some point during the night we would wake up and turn the dryers off. Our hair would be done and our nails perfect. I can't believe I did that. Here's a college picture of me. Looking at that curly hair now, I wonder why I suffered to make it straight. It looks good to me. Or maybe it's the young version of me that I like :))

I was an art major at school, but really had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I loved art but I wasn't good enough to be an artist, and I didn't want to be a teacher. I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders. After almost 3 years, my parents let me quit. One day, shortly after, I was having lunch with a friend who always had very short and stylish hair. Somehow, (after a drink or two) she convinced me to get my long hair cut into a style. We drove to my house and she told my mother, who said, get on the phone and make an appointment right now! That same afternoon, I was in her hairdresser's chair. The stylists gathered around, exclaiming about my thick and curly hair. In my whole life, no one had ever told me I had nice hair. The stylist cut my hair in such a way that it dried in a perfect style. I thought to myself, "I think I could do that. It's like sculpture on the head."

That haircut changed my life, and rest is history. I've been a hairstylist for 34 years and it's been the perfect job for me.

04 April 2012

Catching up

I can't even think of what I've been so busy with that I haven't had time to blog. Hmm.

My iPad is keeping me busy. It's the best toy ever. I'm spending too much time playing Draw Something on it. I'm glad that we're allowed to have tablets on our stations at work, though I'm usually too busy to use it, which is a good thing. We're not allowed to have our cell phones out, and that's hard.

My Spring garden has been pretty beautiful. I'll be sad to see the tulips go and the phlox fade. The good news is that I have a long summer garden to look forward to.

Last year I planted zinnias for the first time, and I did them from seed, another first. They were so beautiful and I always had a vase of them at home and at work. I tried finding more seed packages late in the season to plant more, but they were nowhere to be found. This year I've gone more than a little crazy on zinnia seeds. I had no idea there were so many varieties and I bought 8 packages! I finished planting the last of them in seed starter soil in any kind of flat container I could find, including my 9X13 pans. Where in the world will I plant all these seedlings? Zinnias, anyone? I also loved the look of basil as the greenery for the flower arrangements and I bought 3 varieties. I think I'll sow those seeds directly in the soil. I ran out of containers.

My sister from GA is here with her husband Andy and their youngest son Jonathan. We went to Baltimore on Monday and had lunch at Joe Squared, a restaurant that was featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. It was great! I especially loved the graffiti-covered alley we passed to get there.

We went to Lexington Market and Fells Point. I took a picture of this sign in a bathroom at the market.

We decided to go to Annapolis from Baltimore, and Emily met us there. We walked the grounds of the Naval Academy. I can't believe I've never done that before. The tulips were in full bloom, and it was just beautiful. I'll be sure to be back when the azaleas are in bloom.

That's all I've got tonight. Tired!